UK businesses lose £6 million a year because of badly written letters

A Leicestershire-based editorial and communications expert has laid bare the huge impact that poorly written communications can have on business success.

Rachael Bull, who spent eight years improving high-profile government communications and training civil servants on how to improve their writing, says that companies are spending millions on “innovative advertising and marketing tactics” but neglecting “the one crucial ingredient to effective communications – clear, compelling writing”. 

“My mantra has always been that we can’t expect people to do what we want them to do if they don't immediately understand what we’re saying. The solution? Writing content – such as company brochures, website pages, emails and annual reports – in clear, plain English. 

"Rather than ‘dumbing down’, writing in plain English has proven to be the most effective and efficient way of communicating complex information, with the government’s plain English initiative saving £9 million in printing costs. 

And, as Rachael explains, the private sector can also reap the benefits of ensuring that their communications are clear. “Royal Mail saved £500,000 in just nine months by redesigning one form in plain English, while BT cut customer queries by 25% by using plain language. 

“The same principles apply whether it’s the public sector or the professional services, a school communicating with its pupils’ parents or any company trying to promote its products and services. 

"If we don’t write content that people can immediately understand and engage with, we’ve fallen at the first hurdle.” 

Having spent years as a senior government communications adviser, Rachael now provides businesses with expert editorial and communications advice and support, alongside staff training to improve companies’ in-house writing skills. 

If you would like a free, no-obligation consultation with Rachael to discuss your company’s communications and content needs, call 07734 218155 or email

Find out more information and get expert writing and communications advice at 

Source: Jim Kimble, Writing for Dollars